In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day's work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.
I am happy to report that I did survive my day of relief teaching. I was surprised and delighted to discover some of my past pupils teaching at the school. They have grown into beautiful, remarkable and gifted young teachers. I also came across some parents of past pupils who were on staff and I loved hearing about stories of their children who came to me as tiny, wee, folk and are now grown up and doing amazing things.
I did come home in a bit of a state and it wasn't because I'd broken the library computer, forgotten to do a lunch duty or accidentally dismissed the students 5 minutes early. (I know, I'm not sure I'll be asked back either!) I had a great day and spent it with bubbly, eager to learn and gorgeous kids. Some things made me sad yesterday. Dear little folk who didn't have anyone to pack their lunch, help them find their glasses, listen to them read, cuddle them on the couch or send them to bed in time to get a good night's sleep. Sad and angry little people who have a lot in their heads and hearts and haven't yet mastered the verbal skills they need to express the tumbling thoughts and emotions.
I said a quiet thank you prayer in my head for the teachers at that school, who arranged lunch, who patiently reminded the parent about the importance of the glasses, who stroked bunched up, angry shoulders, found a good thing in the day and showered praise and congratulations, spoke kindly, regardless of the message and sprinkled a fair smattering of humour and cuddles about the place. I said a thank you prayer because they were there today, doing it all over again.